BYU Coach Mark Pope Scolds NCAA For Two-Time Transfer Response

Dec 15, 2023, 11:42 AM

BYU Basketball, Mark Pope, NCAA Transfer...

BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope frustrated with decision-making from NCAA regarding transfer waivers. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU is one of many college basketball programs that is in a holding pattern over the recent news regarding two-time transfers.

Earlier this week, a judge from West Virginia placed a temporary restraining order on the NCAA’s transfer rules for two-time transfers. The TRO lasts 14 days until December 27, 2023.

BYU basketball is proceeding with caution after the TRO ruling

That restraining order opens the door for BYU forward Marcus Adams Jr. to play this season.

Adams, a heralded four-star recruit out of Narbonne High School in Southern California, initially signed with Kansas out of high school. He enrolled at Kansas before having a sudden exit this past summer.

After leaving the Jayhawks, Adams committed to play for Gonzaga. Adams’ stay in Spokane was shorter and he entered the transfer portal again after the portal window had closed.

He ended up at BYU this past September and has been enrolled in classes and part of the program since.

Due to NCAA transfer rules that reached the nation’s court system, Adams, who is a true freshman, can’t play this season unless he’s given a waiver by the NCAA.

Marcus Adams was a heralded recruit for BYU basketball

Whether Adams has any sort of impact on nationally-ranked BYU is anyone’s guess. It sure wouldn’t hurt having Adams, who averaged 28 points per game in his final season of prep basketball, as another option in a rotation that has navigated its share of injuries recently.

The restraining order from a West Virginia judge put those rules from the NCAA by the wayside. Yet, the NCAA is still looking to maintain some control.

One day after the TRO was put into effect for 14 days, the NCAA sent a Q&A document to schools on how to proceed. The NCAA informed schools that if a two-time transfer plays in the 14-day period, it will impact a player’s eligibility.

It’s unclear what will happen after December 27 regarding the restraining order of the waiver rules.

Mark Pope disappointed in “poor decision-making” from NCAA

BYU coach Mark Pope went on his weekly coaches show (Thursday, 9 p.m., KSL NewsRadio) and was candid on how the NCAA has responded.

“That is really poor decision-making, in my opinion, from the NCAA,” said Pope on his Coaches Show. “We talk about caring about student-athletes, but what we’ve done is we left students in an untenable situation. We’re saying it’s totally legal to play right now. But if you choose to play right now and we make a different decision 13 days from now, you’re burning your whole season and won’t be able to get it back.”

It’s another case of reactionary decisions made by the NCAA.

“I just don’t understand how that can possibly be the best we can do,” Pope said. “Again, I’m not the smartest person in the room ever. But that’s really frustrating for us.”

Pope added that the program is doing “a lot of considering” on how to move forward with Adams. He said that Adams had his “almost first full practice” on Thursday and was “terrific.”

BYU hosts Georgia State on Saturday night at the Marriott Center. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Coach Mark Pope Scolds NCAA For Two-Time Transfer Response